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Question about graphics card

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by pixel_a_ted, Jun 11, 2019 at 10:27 AM.

  1. I'm somewhat new to the PC world and have been using a Dell desktop on and off for a few years. Yesterday I decided to look into the graphics end of things. System Information tells me that there is a Nvidia NVS 510 and an Intel HD Graphics 530 in the machine. In the Nvidia control panel, "Use for graphics and compute needs" is checked, which seems reasonable as the Nvidia card is supposedly superior to the onboard graphics.

    However I came upon a website that directly compares these two and unless I am misreading it, the Intel Graphics 530 appears to be superior:
    UserBenchmark: Intel HD 530 (Desktop Skylake) vs Nvidia NVS 510

    As an example, there is the following (Nvidia on left, Intel on right):
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Can someone shed some light on this? Thank you.
  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I think the explanation is that that NVIDIA card is not designed to be a high performance card for video editing, games etc. The reason people buy it is to support four displays at once. It is for business use, for example a financial trader might have four monitors with information from multiple sources.

    Do you know why your PC has that card, was it perhaps used for a business purpose like that before you got it?

    Here is the same comparison but with my card from 2017:
    UserBenchmark: AMD RX 580 vs Intel HD 530 (Desktop Skylake)
    As you can see it is hugely faster than the Intel graphics.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 11:22 AM
  3. This computer was a refurbished unit purchased on eBay (with a lot of help from you and others at the time), so I don't know why the PC has the Nvidia card. I naively thought it was to accelerate graphics.

    As I only have one 1080p monitor and use the computer mainly for photo/video editing, what can I do? The only other option in the Nvidia control panel is "Dedicate to graphics tasks" and it will not allow both options to be unselected. Would somewhere in the more elaborate Intel control panel allow me to specify that it be used for all functions? Or maybe there's a Windows option somewhere. Do I need to remove the Nvidia card?

    Thank you.
  4. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    I would simply remove the card as you don't need it. Look carefully at the box, I think you will need to plug your monitor into a different socket. It should be obvious once you have taken out the card.
    You should see some speed improvement, but I'm guessing you would need to run benchmarks to be sure.

    The two options you mention are not much different from each other, I think removing the compute option simply prevents the card being used for non-graphics computing, I can't see any advantage in selecting graphics only.
  5. Why was that? Is there and issue you are trying to solve? Understanding what you have is fine, always good, however deciding to change something should be with a purpose in mind.

    Don't remove the card unless you have video capability build into the motherboard. Some mobo's do video, many do not and need a separate card (my personal choice).
  6. I investigated further and then checked the back of the computer and discovered that I am already using the Intel graphics as I have my monitor plugged in to one of its Display Ports. The four Mini Display Ports of the Nvidia card are not being used.

    Which leads me to ask - Is the Nvidia card consuming any resources even if nothing is attached to its ports i.e. is it still doing processing but just not outputting anything?
  7. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Probably not. I suppose it is possible that it is helping you by doing computations not related to graphics output, when using certain Photoshop functions. It won't be doing anything to slow you up. Leave it alone.
  8. You could just disable it in Windows 'Device Manager'. Then Windows won't make it available to applications, which then won't get confused. Or... you could instead (what I would do), disable the Intel GPU on the mobo, move the cable, and start using the add on card. People usually add an card like that to improve video performance, meaning the add is likely better/faster than the built in.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 8:38 AM
  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    But this card is quite a lot slower than the Intel graphics currently in use. The card is not a normal fast graphics card, it is a card designed to add the capability to run four screens. See the first two messages in the thread.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Right, missed that, sorry. It looks like it's time for an upgrade then! Replace that thing with better! I'm a fan of AMD Radeon products!
  11. Can you recommend a specific board that you think would be a useful upgrade? I use Photoshop/Lightroom for photos and Adobe Premiere Elements for video, but just amateur stuff so not looking to spend a lot. For reference, the current Nvidia NVS 510 is described as a single slot PCIe 2.0 x16 low profile board. Thanks.
  12. Unless you’re willing to get one of the Quadro cards (P2000/P4000 or better), or the equivalent AMD offering, you are going to see a negligible impact - if any. The drawback is that these are pro grade cards designed for jobs like rendering video, and not for gaming. Because they’re “pro”, they are more expensive. The upside is that they use totally different software/firmware, and both provide good customer support - both lack that for their consumer level “gaming” cards.
  13. TonyW


    Jan 15, 2010
    The question should be is the current video card hampering performance and how long will you keep your current set up before changing to a higher spec PC? Best bang for buck is not necessarily graphics card. Better to use the fastest CPU can along with maximum RAM. PS will make use of these for all tasks.

    My recommendation is not to go the AMD route and choose from Nvidia instead. The advantage is a slight increase in speed for those PS tasks that are GPU accelerated and potentially less power draw meaning less heat and noise with Nvidia cards. The advantage of Quadro cards is really related to 10 bit display which means virtually no banding.

    To keep costs down for a replacement (if needed!) you may be able to pick up one of the older Geforce 1060's (check for compatibility with mobo first - some like this card require 2 slots)
    UserBenchmark: Intel HD 530 (Desktop Skylake) vs Nvidia GTX 1060-3GB
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 11:51 AM
  14. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    Those Intel graphics you already have are fine for most things, including Photoshop. Unless you are a gamer or do large amounts of video rendering, it isn't going to be worth buying a graphics card. And if you do want one, to get a noticeable benefit won't be cheap. The one TonyW lists above is a sensible choice, but the improvement isn't going to be huge.
  15. Growl above is right on everything. I've been a 'computer guy' for 49 years, so I tend to like upgrading. I don't mind having 500HP when the world is full of speed limit signs. :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    One other thing to look at that I haven't seen mentioned yet is the power requirement of a bigger video card. The older Dell's were well known for having minimal power supplies. I've upgraded power supplies in all but my latest machine which by spec has enough power for a 1070 NVidia card.
  17. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    A very good point. I once had a machine where I plugged in a new video card and black smoke came out of the power supply followed by a bang. (It was easily fixed with a new better power supply.)
  18. Known in the electronics repair trade as a smoke test. ;) 
    • Funny Funny x 2
  19. The smoke is what makes it work. Once the smoke comes out, it stops working. ;) 
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. Primal dread: You have just repaired a bulk power supply on a $500,000 computer (in 1980 dollars), a bulk supply that needs 3-phase power that can accommodate 480 amps of inrush current, a bulk supply that has 5 farads of storage capacitance. Now your index finger hovers just millimeters from the "On" switch. And there is a voice in your head screaming "smoke test!"
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